The Mopani regional finals of the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists saw more than two hundred learners showcase their science and innovation research projects.
A total of 208 learners from the region gathered at the Foskor Community Hall on 29 and 30 July to present their innovative science, engineering and social investigations, while 58 judges who are educators, specialists and scholars in the various competition categories and Eskom Expo enthusiasts evaluated and gave scores to the 178 projects that were on exhibition.
This regional expo was one of 35 regional expos planned in all provinces across South Africa – the first Eskom Expo physical science fairs since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, the most number of entries were seen in the engineering category with 36 entries. There were also a significant number of entries in the energy category with 18 projects, and social science category with 16 projects.
The invited speaker from Eskom Holdings, Mr. Makoko Nkadimeng said, “Learners, you have the opportunity to change the lives of people in your community, in South Africa, in Africa and the world at large”.
A total of 49 learners received bronze medals at the event, while 36 received silver and 11 received gold. Learners from Khanyisa Learning Centre received the most number of gold medals and medals overall.
The Eskom Special Award winners, who walked away with Bluetooth headsets, were:
- Best energy project: Ndzhaka Siwela, grade 11 at Khanyisa Learning Centre for the project, “Piezoelectric energy”.
- Best energy efficiency project: Aman Pati, grade 9 at Kingfisher Private School for the project, “Sustainable building”.
- Best female project: Vinaya Pauly, grade 12 at Kingfisher Private School for the project, “Time management method among Kingfisher FET students”.
- Development project: Kutenda Jange, Grade 12 at Khanyisa Learning Centre for the project, “The overharvesting of sand in Ritavi river”.
Eskom Development Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Cecil Ramonotsi, said: “As the funder of Eskom Expo for Young Scientists, it has been a welcoming return to form to be able to host a physical expo in the region this year. It was impressive how learners, especially previously disadvantaged learners and girls, were able to develop such innovative projects while still at school, giving assurance that the future is in good hands. Eskom is investing in young scientists through Eskom Expo, which forms part of a broader Eskom strategy of skills development, investing in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and innovation (STEMI) at school level.”
Nthato Minyuku, Eskom Group Executive: Government and Regulatory Affairs, said: “Eskom is committed to nurturing South Africa’s brightest young minds through regional science fairs, where they are able to present their innovations and exposed to the diversity of career opportunities in the scientific world. Eskom Expo remains one of our flagship corporate citizenship initiatives, through which we actively develop the innovation potential, presentation skills and competitive edge of our young scientists. Congratulations to all medal winners who we trust will make even greater strides at the Eskom Expo International Science Fair (ISF).”
Learners in the region who advance to the ISF, which will be held in December, will compete against the best performing young scientists around the country. At this prestigious event, learners chance to win prizes and bursaries, along with scholarships and various opportunities. Learners also stand a chance to be selected to showcase their research or innovation in an international science fair in the United States of America, Asia, Europe and the rest of Africa.
For more information on the Mopani region, contact: 060 678 4615